Haredi Women: שֶׁקֶט quiet

in Poetry/The Salon by
Women of the Wall Nashot HaKotel & Danielle Shitrit Photography

שֶׁקֶט

The Haredi woman tells me my prayers aloud are poisonous to God.

שֶׁקֶט

The Haredi women’s whistles and screams are poisonous to my prayer.

תקשיב

I enter the holy space, ready to receive and embrace the new month, Elul.

תקשיב

Instead of embracing melody and neshama, I am bombarded with discord and fear.

שֶׁקֶט

The young Haredi girls spit at me, pull my hair, kick my calves.

שֶׁקֶט

The Western Wall security guards smile and shrug, as I am shoved and harassed.

תקשיב

I feel the heartbeat of my sisters around me, as I hold the hands of a friendly stranger.

תקשיב

Instead of discord and fear, we choose to be warriors of melody and neshama.

שֶׁקֶט

The little Haredi boys call me a “Christian” and a “goy.”

שֶׁקֶט

The older religious Haredi man asks me why we can’t just leave them alone.

תקשיב

I remind him, and myself, that this space is just as much mine as it is yours.

תקשיב

Instead of choosing discord and fear, I remind him to listen.

שֶׁקֶט

NO, I will NOT be quiet.

שֶׁקֶט

NO, I will NOT go away.

שֶׁקֶט

NO, I will NOT be silenced.

תקשיב

Reform Judaism. My Judaism. Cherishes diversity. Celebrates change. Encourages questions.

תקשיב

Judaism does not tell me to be quiet in the face of discord and fear. Judaism inspires empathy. Judaism inspires me to build bridges.

תקשיב

God created us with one mouth and two ears, so we might spend twice as much time listening as speaking.

תקשיב

Listen more.

תקשיב

Empathize more.

תקשיב

Love more.

תקשיב בבקשה

Follow @emilyanabeth
Cantorial Student at HUC-JIR, Class of 2023

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Vocabulary

  1. שֶׁקֶט  (pronounced “sheket”) = quiet
  2. תקשיב  (pronounced “teek-sheev”) = listen
  3.  תקשיב בבקשה (pronounced “teek-sheev b’vah-ka-sha”) = listen please

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